“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI”
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah (Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti, formerly a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is still a concerned association dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)Hurah’s Blog: (for an archive of previous bulletins and history)
Tom Luce, Editor E-mail: Tom Luce
GRAND RAVINE ON WAY TO WASHINGTON!
I’m writing you because I want to share
with you some wonderful news! On Dec. 18, our Grand Ravine friends, victims of government sponsored crimes, took a major step in obtaining justice by filing a complaint against Haiti before the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR). The long, slow journey to justice has moved forward a giant step. Hooray for the Grand Ravine Community Council for Human Rights (GR-CHRC)! True “Legal Empowerment”!
On behalf of the Grand Ravine victims, AUMOHD and the Center For Social Justice-CSJ of the Law School of Seton Hall University in Newark, N.J, have filed a petition before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR,) of the Organization of American States (OAS) with headquarters in Washington, D.C. The petition demands IACHR hold Haiti accountable for failing to provide justice
and reparations for crimes committed with government involvement in 2005-2006.See
PetititionIACHR for a PDF copy of the IACHR petition.
Of course our friends at AUMOHD, especially Pres.Evel Fanfan are the primary reason that this has happened. All of us are also extremely grateful to the CSJ of Seton Hall and the co-supervising lawyers, Atty.Lori Nessel and Atty. Rachel Lopez. And we–Hurah– are glad to have played a part in this news-in-the-making since 2005. Justice, the peaceful way, is slow, but it’s the only way. Our accompaniers worked
on the ground with the Grand Ravine victims beginning in 2005, supported
by our 1000+ members. We sent petitions in 2006 testifying to the truth
of the charges against the government. See our history of Grand Ravine
on our blog. Grand Ravine friends
I am looking for money again, even though I don’t have any tax exemption status. Please do think about sending some help for another year for Gentilhomme (l) who has continued to volunteer with me in many ways, especially in
the last 3 years in forming the program, “Hope
For Haiti:Education”, sending 100 impoverished students to
school, for which I am a consultant at St. Columba Parish, Oakland. With Gentilhomme, those of us who wish to remain involved can have his valuable collaboration in doing human rights work. In effect we are providing Grand
Ravine with concrete, effective “justice”, the education of
impoverished children. See below Donate
Happy New Year!
Thanks for your support in the past.
Best personal regards.
Click on the title
of the article you wish to read.
1. Grand Ravine On Way To Washington
2. Champion of Justice: Atty. Evel Fanfan, Pres. Aumohd
3. A Leading Martyr For justice: Esterne Bruner
4. Current Champions, Volunteers with the GR-CHRC
6. “The Challenges of Judicial
Reform” by Judge Fleury
GRAND RAVINE ON WAY TO WASHINGTON!
by Tom Luce
Below, current members of the Grand Ravine Community
Human Right Council (GR-CHRC) (second from left, Mr. Point-du-Jour, #4
president; 5th from left, Frantzco Joseph, #3 President) oversee a scholarship
program for 100 students
entire petition can be seen on CSJ’s web site.
CSJ Director Lori Nessel emphasizes that,
“the Grand Ravine massacre case is an important test for the new
Haitian Prime Minister. He must determine the extent to which government
officers will be held accountable for their breaches of human rights.
Haiti cannot hope to move forward as a country if it does not address
its past, including, and especially, the Grand Ravine massacre.”
The IACHR has been receiving an increasing number of
petitions regarding human rights abuses especially since the earthquake
by advocates for abuse of women, refugees, even LGBT people.
Those of us committed to non-violent action
for the victims of human rights abuse have a right to get apoplectic over
such a step that this filing represents. The atrocities in Grand Ravine
happened during the outlaw years of 2004-6. This was after President Aristide
was illegally ousted. A so-called Prime Minister, Gérard Latortue,
a Boca Raton resident for at least 10 years was illegally designated against
the Haitian Constitution at the behest of the US and its allies. This
is the man who called the ex-army outlaws, “Freedom Fighters”
who killed civilians leading up to President Aristide’s ouster by the
US. He began undoing the justice that was done during the Aristide years
including the “Raboteau
Case”case. (in this article you will see that although Mr.
Latortue managed to discharge those found guilty of a government massacre,
there were some good consequences.) So the war-by-proxy (poor people fighting
partisan political battles) was continued with impunity.
The difference here is the non-violent,
non-partisan work of the GR-CHRC. They show that some justice is attainable
fairly. They have worked hard to bring their case to the IACHR, counting
on AUMOHD and CSJ to give them the technical support. We don’t have to
wait until the IAHCR gets the Grand Ravine case on its
agenda. There is much prep work to do–gaining international support,
obtaining money to bring the witnesses to D.C. As the next step approaches
I will make sure that ways to help financially will be made clear.
FOR JUSTICE: ATTY. EVEL FANFAN, PRESIDENT OF AUMOHD
is Atty. Evel Fanfan with Idalia François and daughter and Gaëlle
Celestin, leader of GFANM, a partner with AUMOHD for women’s rights. Here
they are in Grand Ravine in 2009 very warmly connected to Atty Fanfan
and the non-violent process of obtaining justice that has now reached
the IACHR..It is to be noted that AUMOHD
has been providing the legal assistance for all its community groups for
free. This includes the minute details of certifying dead bodies, showing
ownership of property. Click
here for story: “Idalia:
believer in non-violent justice
Atty Fanfan continues leading with AUMOHD
and the GR-CHRC to keep up the drive to obtain justice as has happened
with the petition to the IACHR. Here he is at the one year memorial ceremony
for Esterne Bruner (see next story). AUMOHD, with Atty
Fanfan’s leadership has begun a program in memory of Esterne, a memorial
in the AUMOHD office and starting a sustainable living
community in his name. This valiant fighter himself continues to receive
death threats for the work he does serving the poor with free legal assistance.
On October 23 shots were fired at him and threats renewed.
works also for union/worker rights. Here is Atty Fanfan in AUMOHD‘s
streetmobile, “Legal Assistance in Solidarity with workers”.
His recent death threats are connected to his strong defense of a living
wage. He also distributed the worker code in Creole. A man and a service
that deserves 100% support for those interested in non-violent, non-partisan
A LEADING MARTYR FOR JUSTICE: ESTERNE BRUNER
real “stuff” of non-violent action is the courage to accept
death defending justice without inflicting violence in return. The Grand
Ravine Community Human Rights Council-GR-CHRC with support
from AUMOHD has practiced non-violence since it was formed
in Aug. ’05. It’s second leader, Esterne Bruner, age 38, who was twice
victimized–’05 house burned losing his workshop; ’06 entire house burned,
shot in arm. Esterne worked ceaselessly for his whole community gathering
support from AUMOHD, helping victims, fighting for community
goals like the re-opening of the Aristide-built high school taken over
by the UN troops in ’04. He adopted a girl orphaned by the ’06 massacres.
Esterne accompanied me on Sept. 3, 2006 to view the damage done to Grand
Ravine, over 200 homes torched, creating over 1000 refugees. We inspected
every street and talked with leaders about rebuilding. On Sept. 21, he
was brutally assassinated by people belonging to violent groups. He is
a poignant part of the IACHR petition.
CURRENT CHAMPIONS, VOLUNTEERS WITH GR-CHRC!
are Frantzco Joseph (l), 3rd president of GR-CHRC (also driven away by
violence but still serving) Jean-Ernest Point du Jour, current President,
with scholarship students thanking St. Columba parish. In ’10 and ’11
170 students were organized and managed by these volunteers. Year 3, 100
students continue to be managed by the council. If you are specifically
interested in supporting this program, go to Hope
for Haiti:Education Although no longer in existence as a
corporation, Hurah is, thus, helping with direct human rights assistance
to Grand Ravine, education being a basic human right. Note: for a transcript
of Frantzco Joseph’s testimony about his account of the 05 massacre, click
Jean-Gilles (rt), volunteer/trainee with Hurah from 07-09, volunteer since
’10 till today, has been an invaluable partner with the Hope for Haiti:Education
program. He is an invaluable presence on the ground in the human rights
community in Haiti. Please consider donating even a small amount to meet
a basic budget, $3,000, for the coming year. This purchases his living
space rent, telephone, internet, car repairs and gas expenses.
“The Challenges of Judicial Reform”
by Judge Fleury
forget, justice for Haitians requires judicial reform!
In 2008 Hurah partnered with the foremost
Haitian expert in judicial law, Honorable Judge Jean Sénat Fleury
to create a reform program featuring free legal assistance to the poor.
It was called “Watchdog”. This was to begin just as the earthquake
arrived. The quake destroyed judicial buildings and killed many judicial
allies. We translated his book, nonetheless, “The Challenges
of Judicial Reform In Haiti.” The quake didn’t make this work
obsolete. Judge Fleury’s book is still available at LULU
PRESS Buy one and help social justice! If you wish multiple
copies we’ll give you a good discount.
Check Hurah’s Blog:
for an archive of previous bulletins and history, especially for Grand Ravine
To Unsubscribe: E-mail Tom
Hurah now wishes to provide for some basic
expenses for our partner, Gentilhomme, in Haiti, so that we can continue
to support him to further human rights in Haiti. Donations for transportation,
gas, internet, phone, rent are welcome. He keeps us in touch with many
important people and can travel thanks to our grants. When we have specific
program funding needs we will send out an appeal. Last year we did receive
several generous gifts and we kept within our $3,000 budget. Remember,
we are no longer a tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation.
Thank you so much!
1. Check to “Hurah”, 1515 Fairview
St. Apt. C, Berkeley, Ca. 94703
DWOLLA is an internet, safe, money transfer for those of us trying
to move away from “banks”. They only charge $0.25 for a transfer–or
nothing if the transfer is under $10! Try it! Send your DWOLLA donation
to Hurah at this address:firstname.lastname@example.org